Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

Do you know what a cinnamon roll is?

Like, do you really really know?

When you were like 10 years old, you maybe thought you'd found the one, the love of your life, but skip forward a decade or two, and you now know that you don't always know what love is until you actually find it.  The deep, fulfilling happiness.  The trust and commitment.  The "can't breathe, can't think, can't stop smiling, can't stop dreaming about that one person" feeling.

That's like cinnamon rolls.  You thought that you knew what a good cinnamon roll was, based on those overly processed, pre-packaged, double-pack, worthless, stick-to-the-plastic, pasty Princess Leias.  But I'm going to tell you that although some people marry their 3rd grade true love, most people grow up and realize that they were wrong about cinnamon rolls their whole life.

I'm going to wager that these are actually the best cinnamon rolls you have ever, ever had.

That's a tall order to fill. "The best?" Really?
Haha. That's weird looking, so big.  But seriously yes.

Monday, November 14, 2016

8 tips on how to be a good babysitter, from a MOM

Here's how to be a good babysitter, from the viewpoint of a mom.

1. Show up on time.

I'm a hypocrite for saying it, but it is super important, so it's got to be number 1.  The people you're babysitting for probably have an agenda, and they will be more likely to ask you again if they feel like they can rely on you to be punctual.

2. Be flexible.

Kids don't usually follow the perfect schedules that we (as parents) create for them.  If the parent asks you to come 15 minutes earlier or later, roll with it.  If one of their children wakes up unexpectedly from a nap, don't complain about it.  That's what you're there for.

3. You have to like other people's kids.

I know this seems like a given, but the same rule applies to teaching, and you know we all had that one teacher who hated children.
You have to have a high level of tolerance for whining, misbehavior, and crying.  As a babysitter, the children often act out more with you than they do when they're with their parents.  You're new.  They want to impress you.  Or get rid of you, according to the movies.

4. Have fun!

Remember, your best advertising is a child that won't stop asking for you to come back.
Don't play on your phone, even if the kids are taking care of themselves.  I'm personally fine with babysitters being on Netflix or Pinterest when all the kids are asleep, but when they're awake, earn your pay and play with them!  Parents will appreciate when you entertain their children.  When I babysat in college, I would bring a giant hot pink bag with me full of random surprises (frisbees, balls, play dough, puzzles, etc.) and I called it the Magical Bagical (Classy, I know).  Last I heard, one of the little boys I babysat still says "Magical Magical!" when he sees my picture.  Kids remember.

5. Clean up.

Now, I'm not saying that you need to white glove their house, or that you need to feel like their disaster zone is your responsibility.  Not at all.  I'm just saying that you're more likely to be valued (and therefore invested in) when you pick up after the messes that the kids make while you are in charge, such as dishes and toys.

6. Be honest about their kids, but tactful.

Make sure to let the parents know if anything potentially dangerous happened, or if anything got broken.  However, try not to talk too much about how tired the kids made you, or how much they cried.  First off, crying and being tired is the life of a parent, and a babysitter is a temporary fill-in parent, so don't expect better treatment than the actual (unpaid) parent gets.  Chances are, the parents know that their baby is teething and fussy, or that their toddler son throws temper tantrums and their little girl hates broccoli.  Parents are usually aware of their children's problems, and "informing" them will probably come off as complaining.  If they didn't injure anyone, do anything morally questionable, or destroy anything, then don't mention it.

7. Drive.

Now, obviously, this is usually an age thing, but I've had to pick up a couple of licensed babysitters who were perfectly capable of driving a car, but who were too cheap to spend the gas money.  That's super frustrating.  Also, if you're old enough to drive but don't have your license, get it.  I cannot stress enough how much parents love a driving babysitter.  Not only do they not have to pick you up (which, if you do the math, makes them drive twice as much as you would, just to have you babysit), but you're able to transport the kids in an unforeseen emergency.

8. Be available, no matter the time or the day of the week.

If you are always turning down parents when they ask you to babysit, they're going to stop asking.  Am I saying that you should accept that babysitting job at 6:45 AM?  If you're serious about babysitting, yes.   Don't miss school or your own wedding reception or anything, and definitely don't let people take advantage of you, but if you're willing to go out of your way, people will start referring you.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Old Beginnings

My husband and I have a lot of goals.
Unfortunately, most of those goals revolve around going to bed early and waking up early.
Some other goals include eating healthy food, developing a good budget, and actually exercising or at least doing something besides walking from the couch to the fridge.
Seeing all of this written down makes me kind of feel like a bum.  I can just see you saying in your brain, "So.  You sleep late, you spend your money poorly, and you're unhealthy?"
Not quite. It's not that bad. Maybe.
I mean, when you have kids, sleeping late doesn't really exist.  I still get up at 7 or 7:30 AM every day.  BUT, I would really like to get up an hour and a half before the kids and go on a run, shower, read some scriptures and pray, and make a good healthy breakfast BEFORE the children wake up.
I know this is possible because we did it, at least twice haha. Maybe even for a week. I can't remember.  It's been a while...
Regardless, this brings me back around to my point.  Old beginnings.  It seems like we have tried a thousand times to "get on a good schedule."  We have started this worn out resolution over and over and still can't seem to stick with it.  We've revamped our plans and tweaked the details and tried to be realistic with ourselves and our time.  And yet each time, it fails. We either set our expectations too high or circumstances change or we just stop caring enough to tough it out when it gets hard.
It's been really hard on us to fail so consistently at these goals that are so good and worthy of our time.
However, I have been blessed by two different experiences recently that have helped my perspective.
Experience #1:
In April 2016, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk in the General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (you can find the whole talk here) and in his talk, he said this:
"With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don't always succeed."
This talk made me realize that I need to stop beating myself up for not being perfect, and that God is happy when we try to do His will and keep His commandments. The key is that we have to keep trying, and keep working on improving.  We need to rely on Jesus Christ to change our natures.  We need to get up when we fall.  We can't just be satisfied with how we are.  We can't be apathetic about our faults, but we also can't focus on them too much.  God loves us regardless of our imperfections, and we need to love Him enough to do His will in the best way that we can. Mistakes will happen but we can't give up, because He doesn't give up on us.
Experience #2:
In church on Sunday, one of the speakers told a story that made me realize that my desires matter more than my circumstances. What DO I want? Do I actually want to get up early, or do I actually just want to sleep all day? Do I actually want to eat healthily, or would I rather not give up no-bake cookies? Do I actually want to be active and fit, or am I content with being pretty sedentary? In trying to explain to my husband about my thoughts on the subject, I came across this great quote.
"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." -Jim Rohn
This is really profound. Seriously. Think about it.  So, I've decided that I need to stop analyzing my actual problems for a little while and analyze my desires. Because if I actually want to be healthy, I'll put in the time for it, even when there doesn't seem to be any time available. If I actually want to renovate my home, I will make it happen. If I actually want to be a good wife or be on time or be happy or learn how to make Taco Bell burritos (although that may go against my health goals...), I will find a way to do that.
Let's change our desires so that we stop making excuses and make things happen.